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Customer service is top priority at Duffield Carpet

Tanja Moody • Sep 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Duffield Carpet & Flooring is a family business that has been operating for almost 45 years, serving customers within 150 miles of its hub. Store owner Kenneth Dishner still counts on customer satisfaction for future sales.

"Our best advertising is word-of-mouth, people who say, ‘Oh, you worked for my mother,’" Dishner said. "Of course, I’ve lived here all my life, so most everybody knows me, too."

Dishner said it’s not just Duffield that’s home. His store also feels like home, after being in its current location for the past 28 years. Initially, he opened his business in an old post office building. He was there less than a year when his wife, Jackie, noticed a vacancy in the building where Duffield Carpet is now located.

People are greeted with a handshake and a first-name introduction. Aside from the various floor coverings throughout the store, bits of Dishner’s personality are also on display: Nascar posters, pictures of his family, and a reproduction of a painting of The Last Supper.

His son, Ronald, and grandson, Chris, help out with some of the labor of installation, but Dishner enjoys getting out of the office, too.

"I like to meet people," he said. "I don’t like to sit still for very long.

"Some people ask, ‘When are you going to retire?’ And I say, ‘Well, what would I do if I was retired?’"

Dishner began in the business as a teenager, helping neighbor Chuck Bincent, who was an installer. Dishner installed floor covering for several years until he hurt his back. He took a hiatus for four years, working elsewhere until he decided to return to his roots.

"I thought, ‘I’m going back into carpeting, where if I get a problem, I can take care of it,’" Dishner said. "We take care of our customers. We don’t forget you after the sale. I won’t put you off if you need me. If you call with a problem, you don’t want to wait a week or two."

Dishner has seen a lot of changes in preferences through the years. When he began, he said people favored commercial indoor/outdoor carpet because it was easy to clean. Then customers shifted to Dupont 501 nylon carpeting.

"Everybody had it, and everybody had a different color in every room," he said. "You have the greens, the reds, the blues, the gold and all that."

From there, he saw demands move from shag carpeting to plush and then Berber. Most customers still preferred carpeting over wood flooring because of its affordability, according to Dishner. Now, hardwood and laminate are also popular because they are easy to clean and don’t irritate allergies.

Serving both residential and business customers, Duffield Carpet sells all types of floor coverings, including carpeting by Shaw, Philadelphia and Mohawk; laminate by Shaw, Formica and Swiftlock; hardwood and vinyl fiber flooring. Special ordered items usually arrive within a week.

Through the end of the month, Duffield Carpet is featuring a sale of up to 30 percent off of all its in-store stock. Dishner also offers all churches a 10 percent discount.

Duffield Carpet is located at 6051 Natural Tunnel Parkway in Duffield, Va. Business hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday. For more information, call 276-431-4265.

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